The Doha Fire Station launched yesterday at the Garage Gallery the third edition of “Domestic Affairs”, a travelling arts exhibition featuring works by internationally renowned artists.
Running until May 15, the exhibition is being held under the guidance of Qatar Museums chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUQatar) and the cultural development organisation, Bureau Europa.
Curated by Giovanni Innella and Agata Jaworska, “Domestic Affairs” explores the role of the home in the daily effort to balance privacy and popularity, trust and distrust, and engagement and retreat.
The Doha edition also features a selection of works by local designers currently in residence at the Fire Station and VCUQatar students from the Art Foundation and MFA programmes.
The local component of the exhibition was curated by Simone Muscolino, director of the Art Foundation Programme at VCUQatar, and Aisha al-Sowaidi, VCUQatar alumna and current artist-in-residence at the Fire Station, with support from the MFA and Art Foundation faculty: Ryan Browning, Marco Bruno, Rachel Cohn, Nathan Davis, Alberto Iacovoni, Jesse Payne and Thomas Modeen.
“Domestic Affairs” was previously exhibited in Cologne, Germany, and most recently in Shenzhen, China. “The exhibition seeks to demonstrate that the home is a filter for our attitude towards our local and international neighbours, and our attitudes towards their political and economic systems,” a spokesperson said.
The exhibition goes on to demonstrate that the home is much more than just bricks and mortar, a financial asset or a set of appliances and technologies, and that it represents a state of mind.
Khalifa al-Obaidly, director at the Fire Station, said the exhibition perfectly aligns with Qatar Museums’ vision of nurturing emerging talent and inspiring an indigenous culture of creativity and innovation.
“At the Fire Station, we seek to host exhibitions that nurture and support a vibrant local art scene and give young and emerging creatives experiences that inspire them to create, grow and flourish.”
The third edition of “Domestic Affairs” features over 70 exhibits, including pieces of art, video and objects from local and internationally renowned artists, including Atelier NL, Auger-Loizeau, Laura Cornet, Edith Dekyndt, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, DUS architects, Ward Goes, Ina Hollmann, Jesse Howard, International Academy of Arts Palestine (MamonAshreteh) & Disarming Design Team, Elisa van Joolen, Chris Kabel, Noortje de Keijzer, Heleen Klopper, Karel Martens for Maharam, Christien Meindertsma for t.e., Metahaven, MisoSoupDesign, Ahmad Nassar for Disarming Design from Palestine, Simone C. Niquille, Ruben Pater, Martina Petrelli, Katja Petterson, Pinar & Viola, Liane Polinder, Helmut Smits, Philippe Starck for Alessi, Studio Droog, Studio Swine, TD, Thomas Vailly and Stefania Vulpi.
In addition to the Garage Gallery, the Fire Station is home to 24 studios that make up the Artist in Residence programme, an initiative that began in September 2015 and invites artists from different disciplines on a nine-month residency programme. During the residency, each artist is given weekly mentoring and access to Qatar Museums’ special exhibitions, lectures, properties and curators.
The Doha Fire Station was built in 1982 as a Civil Defence building and was occupied by the fire brigade until late 2012. It was then handed over to Qatar Museums to renovate and turn into the home of the new Artist in Residence programme.
Disruptive Pattern Material by Asma Hasan, Rouda al-Khoori, Sara al-Mashhadi, Kaltham al-Kuwari and Muneera al-Obaidan, VCUQatar Art Foundation, depicts a garment inspired by a site.